When insurance covers the risks of sexual abuse or mistreatment

In the United States, an insurance company will pay $ 800 million in compensation to 80,000 Scout families. Young victims of sexual abuse in recent decades. This risk is covered by insurance in the United States. What about in Europe and in France?

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The issue of compensation for victims emerges in France with the Sauvé report. Yes, the risk of sexual abuse is covered in Europe, a fortiori in France. It is through the liability insurance of the culprits or institutions within the framework of which the abuses were committed: Churches, associations, companies or political parties. With this important clarification: this risk must not be explicitly excluded from the insurance contract. This is where the matter gets complicated because very few people or institutions protect themselves against this risk.

If the institution or company is not insured, what happens to the victim? Ultimately, it is the institution that must pay. As long as it has the necessary funds, which is often never the case because the amounts to be compensated are so important. Sometimes the victims cannot even be compensated. This is the case when there is what is called “foreclosure of the alleged facts”, that is to say when the victim or victims have not had recourse to justice within the required time.

If the legal structure on which the Church rests – in the sense of community – is insured for sexual abuse or ill-treatment by members of the clergy, the victims can be compensated by the insurer. They can also be done by the structure itself (Church, company, association, etc.) provided that the latter has the means. Hence the call for the gifts of the faithful in the case of the Church.

Without advancing an official figure, an insurance specialist interviewed on the subject affirms that the abuses in the American Church have already cost European reinsurers (insurers of insurers) dearly, and that it is to be expected that the abuses in the European churches lead to a strong increase in the coverage by insurers in the years to come.

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